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71

While backbenchers are common throughout the world, windows seats are similarly favoured by just about everybody in most situations. People want and prefer window seats be they in classrooms, trains, or aeroplanes. In anime, these seats additionally facilitate a few things (some of which have been covered in other answers): The character can look out of the ...


56

According to this forum post: It's a tradition where it was intended for young audiences to yell the attack names with the character. The tradition began with Mazinger Z, which is considered the first Super Robot anime. The producers of the show felt that if the main character, Kouji Kabuto, shouted out the attack names each time the mecha did them, then ...


51

Anime characters having large eyes is generally attributed to Osamu Tezuka{1}, an artist prolific enough to be called the "father of manga", and the creator of Astro Boy, the source of the image you shared in your question (among other manga). At the time of Astro Boy (1952), Tezuka was inspired by precursors in animation, largely those of Walt Disney, but ...


46

Toshio Maeda, the manga artist who did Urotsukidoji, one of the first shows to use tentacles, said in an interview that he used tentacles to circumvent the Japanese censorship laws which prohibit the depiction of male genitalia. Why tentacles? For some reason there were some issues about censorship about the sex scenes. When I was drawing sex scenes, ...


44

Gilles Portras, author of The Anime Companion, wondered the same thing: "So I asked a few Japanese and got a variety of pseudoscientific, and occasionally embarassed, explanations about humidity and blood pressure. But the best response I got was from one fellow who simply recounted that when he was a child he was told by his mother that if he stared at ...


42

In Japan, cicadas are symbolic of summer, and possibly symbolize reincarnation as well, based on summer being the time when the cicada comes out to sing.[1] As per their role in anime, according to Wikipedia, The songs of the cicada are often used in Japanese film and television to indicate the scene is taking place in the summer.   — ...


36

It's a culture thing, and it's kinda like a fixed phrase, which is not translated accurately into English. If you can understand a little Chinese, its true meaning is 我饶不了你, in which 我(means I) 饶不了(means won't forgive) 你(means you), and the meaning is perfectly translated. Its true meaning in English is more like this: I will not absolve you from guilt or I ...


36

This answer was based on a valid criticism of the question in the answer by coleopterist. It does not seek to answer any of the questions posed in the OP, which in my opinion are already satisfactorily answered in several of the other answers, and should ideally be viewed as an extended comment on that answer. The following are preliminary statistics, based ...


32

The bloody nose gag exaggerates the rise in blood pressure when people are aroused, to such a degree that blood shoots out of the aroused character's nose.


27

There doesn't seem to be any "official" announcement for that, but I think it's safe to say that since Manga and Anime make heavy use of symbols to re-create a concept or a situation, the sweatdrop functions the same way. In other words sweatdrop (see image below) is a reference to the fact that when people feel uneasy or feel similar emotions, they usually ...


27

I have never noticed that before, but it sounds quite logical to me considering these points. The character can look to the outside world giving more freedom to new plot lines. Less background students make it easier to draw focus on the important characters, especially during class hours, when the seats must be taken. Maybe just personal preference, but I ...


26

This is the Eyelid Pull Taunt This is the act of pulling down one lower eyelid and sticking out the tongue and saying "Beh-da!" (Japanese) or "Nyaaaah!" (English dub). A highly ritualized expression of disdain or disapproval, used exclusively by children and immature adults. Basically the same as the Western act of sticking out the tongue, cranked ...


25

The 1st anime I saw this in was Slayers and it was always cool to see what happens next. Why do anime characters tend to shout the names of their attacks? Most logical answer: "words grant power". It is also used when there is sorcery to be casted. It makes them focus on the attack making the attack work (or work more efficient). The general idea is ...


24

This is a common archetype in many forms of fiction, not just shounen anime and manga. for instance, many seinen romance series have protagonists who are usually at or below average intelligence, e.g. Clannad, Chobits, though seinen also has some intelligent protagonists like those from Death Note or Ghost in the Shell. Shoujo series also sometimes use this ...


24

This triangle-shaped headband is called a tenkan (天冠, lit. "heaven crown"). In some parts of Japan, it may also be called a zukin (頭巾, lit. "hood" and also used as a generic term), a hitai-eboshi (額烏帽子, lit. "forehead headpiece"), or a kami-kakushi (髪隠し, lit. "hair-hider")2. Traditionally, the tenkan was one component of a traditional burial garment (shini-...


23

The other answer is technically correct, but I don't think the term "idiot hair" is actually common in the English-speaking anime community apart from on TVTropes. The Japanese term for this is ahoge, which literally translates to "idiot hair", but that translated term isn't particularly frequently used. A search 'Ahoge anime' gets around 700k Google hits ...


23

My feeling is that Hakase's answer is half-correct. I agree that characters are generally chosen so that the target audience can relate to them. However, I disagree that means that they're necessarily the same age as the target audience. That is to say, people don't necessarily relate best (as a group) to people who are of the same age as them. What people ...


22

Appears to have started in the 1970's, but over time the definition got a little cloudy and changed from being pedophilia to more of an obsession. There was also controversy similar to violence in video games linked to violence in real life, where one party suggested that lolicon could fuel sex crimes toward children, while the other party maintained that if ...


22

This trope is usually attributed to Fist of The North Star, after Kenshiro attacks someone he pauses and says "You are already dead". It is only then that they realise their defeat and the attacks are applied. Reference. Another Reference (TVTropes) It's similar to how in Road Runner, Wilee Coyotee often runs off of cliffs, without realising the ground ...


22

Because some people like women with big breasts. As usual, anime exaggerates; it can't just have a woman with big breasts, it has to have a woman with ridiculously gigantic breasts. This isn't purely a Japanese thing. Actually, I would argue that it came in origin from American media that were exported to Japan. In the US, large breasts are often considered ...


21

All of these faces are direct parodies of Fujiya's forever 6 year old mascot, Peko-chan: Peko-chan was created in the 1950s is probably the most recognized character in the Japanese confectionery world. In Japan, showing one's tongue can be used to express one's feeling embarrassed at making a mistake. It's often times meant to be childish and regarded as ...


21

Blood type in Japan is associated with temperance or personality. On Facebook in Japan, as well as Wikipedia and matchmaking sites, blood type can be listed. Many horoscopes and matchmaking services also use blood type to match people together. According to Wikipedia: It is common among anime and manga authors to mention their character's blood types, ...


21

Overview Blood type carries a significant weight in Japanese culture, so much so that Japanese are often surprised when people of other origins are not familiar with their blood type. In their culture, they associate every blood type with a certain personality and demeanor. There is an interesting history behind blood types; in 1900, A, B, and O were ...


21

This “fluffy ball” is a standard part of any sword care kit (see the red ball in the picture below). It contains some sort of powder ‒ I believe chalk ‒ that is used gather and bind any fluids on the sword before oiling it again. (That powder acts sort of like a sponge.) When cleaning your sword you will usually use clean water to remove any big pieces of ...


20

The major reason they do it for the benefit of the audience. It helps the audience know what the character is doing. It's more dramatic if the viewer knows that the character is using the "gumgum superduper pistol", than if Luffy just punches someone.


20

The most likely culprit is Go Nagai, the father of Ecchi fan service. You can probably trace it down to as early as "Shameless School", which often had female characters "losing" their clothes: But the actual tearing off of clothes may have first been in Mazinger Z's manga (circa 1972), linked from the very article in the question: It happens to ...


19

Note: Some references have been excluded here for PG reasons. There's a few layers to this question. Firstly, this isn't a hentai-specific thing. Lots of Japanese non-animated porn contains rape. This is a cultural thing spanning more than just anime. The main reason as some people have pointed out to you is that it sells. But let's go a little further ...


18

Who was the first character to have a snaggletooth? I don't have any source for when historically in anime/manga this was used. But the earliest that I can think of is Lum from the Urusei Yatsura manga and that was published in the late 70's. From Chapter 1: and also seen, for various circumstances, throughout the run of the manga and anime. So it's ...


17

TVTropes calls it the "Cross-Popping Veins", and Wikipedia as well as other blogs and sources seem to be comfortable backing up that term. Other terms include "Bulging Vein" or "# Mark". As their name suggests, they were inspired by a physiological effect many people have; when they become excessively angry or tense, their blood pressure rises and muscle ...


17

Most likely it happens because it looks cool and unique. Here's what tvtropes say about anime hair: Usually, the most important characters of the story will have wild spikes or a cool-looking hairdo in order to stand out among the crowd. It may be one or more different colors that don't appear naturally in real humans (blue is a popular choice). ...


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